If you’re craving a piece of automotive movie memorabilia to take up some garage space, two major icons of the silver screen will be hitting the auction block in coming weeks.
Remember the submersible Series 1 Lotus Esprit from the 1977 James Bond romp The Spy Who Loved Me? Or how about the faux Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder that went crashing through the window in ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’? Both are coming both up for grabs.
The Lotus has special interest to us Floridians in that it was originally built in Riviera Beach by Perry Oceanographic. It’s a one-of-a-kind that reputedly cost in excess of $100,000, which translates to over $500,000 today.
If you remember, when it plunged into the water while escaping the baddies, the wheels retracted, twin propellors popped out, and it morphed into a submarine. During the filming, it was piloted by US Navy Seal Don Griffin.
Interestingly, after filming in the Bahamas, the car was shipped to Long Island, NY where, for some unexplained reason, it was covered in a sheet and locked-up in a storage container on a 10-year pre-paid rental.
At the end of 10 years, the lease ran out, no one came to claim the contents and they were bought in a ‘blind’ auction by a local couple for cents on the dollar. Only when they unlocked the unit, whipped off the cover, did they realize their good fortune.
Now the Lotus – nicknamed ‘Wet Nellie’ – will go under the hammer at RM Auctions’ London sale set for September 8 and 9. There’s no price guide, but expect the price to be huge. Remember the last Bond car to be auctioned – the Aston Martin DB5 from Goldfinger fetched £2.9 million, which is roughly $4.4 million.
The Ferris Bueller car goes under the hammer at the Mecum classic car auction in Monterey, CA between August 15 and 17 during the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance weekend.
Three look-alike Ferrari 250 GT California Spyders were built for the 1986 movie by Modena Design and Development in Southern California. The so-called ‘hero’ car designed for the beauty shots was sold at auction in 2010 in London for $122,000.
Car number two was just a bare-bones bodyshell and was the version that went through the plate-glass window. The last we heard it was hanging from the ceiling of the Hard Rock Cafe in Cancun.
Car Three, and the one being auctioned, was used for the driving scenes and by all accounts got pretty banged up. It was bought 15 years ago by Neil Glassmoyer, one of the partners of Modena Design and Development who has painstakingly restored it and re-powered it with a throaty 500 horsepower Ford big-block V-8.
Again, there’s no word on what it might fetch. But I’m reckoning that it might bring a fair bit more than the $122,000 the last one made. Paddles at the ready.